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France: Our players had no chance against Nadal

 France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays a shot during a Davis Cup semi-final tennis match against Spain's Rafael Nadal  in the bullring in Cordoba, Spain, ...
 Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a shot during a Davis Cup semi-final tennis match against France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the bullring in Cordoba, Spain, S...

Spain France Tennis Davis Cup

France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays a shot during a Davis Cup semi-final tennis match against Spain's Rafael Nadal in the bullring in Cordoba, Spain, ...

Spain France Tennis Davis Cup

Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a shot during a Davis Cup semi-final tennis match against France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the bullring in Cordoba, Spain, S...

France captain Guy Forget's decision to pick Jo-Wilfried Tsonga over Gilles Simon proved fruitless against Rafael Nadal after the six-time French Open champion put Spain into the Davis Cup final by exposing his opponent's clay court deficiencies _ including 50 unforced errors.
Tsonga helped France stave off elimination with a part in the doubles victory Saturday but the 10th-ranked Frenchman failed to compete in the reverse singles rubber on Sunday against Nadal's masterclass of clay court tennis at Cordoba's bullring.
"The goal at one point (against Nadal) isn't to win the match but to win one game, then two games and then a set," Forget said. "He has the capacity to play the right shot each time while always being able to vary. You're always on the wire's edge with him."
Tsonga's unforced errors included each of the six break points won by Nadal to put Spain into the final where it has a chance at a third title in four seasons.
"Simply put, Rafa was just too good this weekend," Tsonga said. "He's the best player ever on clay court, I think, he's practically unbeatable on this surface and today we didn't create the exception."
Forget said France would have to completely revolutionize its national training program to have any chance of producing or finding a player capable of taking on the second-ranked Nadal.
"To beat Nadal you have to serve better, be physically stronger ... it takes years of practice, a different way of thinking about the game, putting new schemes in place," Forget said, adding that the differing physical characteristics between Nadal and the French players provided a clear picture.
"We're not there," Forget said. "If we want to be competitive with Spain on this surface, there's no other chance but to do that."
Forget's mood was in stark contract to a day earlier when he was energized by Tsonga and Michael Llodra's doubles victory. That cut Spain's lead to 2-1 after Richard Gasquet and Simon won only a combined 10 games in defeats to Nadal and David Ferrer in opening singles rubbers.
But Fernando Verdasco's 6-1, 6-1 win in the fifth match against Gasquet completed an overall drubbing that quickly erased eventual finalist France's 5-0 win over the Spanish on home soil last year.
Nadal, who has won 32 titles and two Davis Cups on clay, showed no fatigue as he picked Tsonga apart with precision, hitting only eight unforced errors and allowing just six points off his serve against the 10th-ranked Tsonga.
"It looks like I'm making errors but he's the one pushing you to make those," Tsonga said. "He places shots in the court like no one else, they spin differently with each one. It's really hard to return his shot. When I watch him play at Roland Garros I would scream at the TV 'How could he miss?' but now I understand. It was less the surface than the ball Rafa hits."
Forget was equally impressed with Nadal's ability to physically recover so quickly from Monday's U.S. Open final defeat to Novak Djokovic and play so dominantly just four days later. Djokovic retired with an injury while trailing Juan Martin Del Potro on Sunday for Argentina to reach the final, which will be played Dec. 2-4.
"They have players and above all a leader of such quality. It's not just about on-field performance but they have this capacity to recuperate that is incredible," Forget said. "Look that (Djokovic) wasn't able to recover and Rafa is able to play in such a short time. It shows they are above the rest, that here there was full domination by the clay court Spanish players."